Thursday, December 9, 2010

Diana Gift Shopping

Nobody in my family reads my blog, since they think knitting is boring.  This means I can share some of my shopping adventures with all of y'all and even get your suggestions.  If someone catches on, well, they can't tell from this what I purchased for whom.

I'm taking a few days off work to get ready for Christmas.  I have a tendency to be ridiculously busy - there were three parties last week - and this time off is something I haven't treated myself to before.  It's fantastic!  John and I knocked out the Christmas cards and most of the out-of-state family gifts yesterday, and still had time for a long phone call with one of the sons and dinner and a movie (D&M at home - homemade enchiladas and  "Crazy Heart" with Jeff Bridges).  

I decided, a few years ago, with so many to mail, so little time, and the cost of postage, to buy almost all of that online and let the companies mail it for us.  I went with Amazon this year because they have such cheap shipping and there are lots of great prices.  Another reason to use Amazon is the ease of finding and reading reviews of products.  There's a big difference between choosing based on how something looks versus reading what other people experienced actually using the item.

Another Sullivan family "tradition" - I buy tamales, which we put in the freezer for quick meals during extra-busy holiday preparations.  Tamales are traditional Christmas fare here in the Southwest, yummy.  Some Hispanic families will get together and make dozens and dozens of them, assembly-line style, as a holiday tradition, but I've never participated in one of those marathons.

Here are some cool things I found:

A cookbook, Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunch Melt In Your Mouth Cookies  I was sold by the title and reviews.

A tool (good for knitters), 'Flood Light' head lamp  We love these things; of course John and I are always tinkering away, and our eyes aren't getting any younger.  They are also outstanding when you have a storm and lose power.  

For folks to love to grill, Omaha Steak selections.  I've got a couple people I know are hoping I'll do this one again.
For those who have an assortment of ages in the family, this board game  I haven't played it yet, but wow, read the reviews!  

For a musician, a pickup transducer that you put on your acoustic instrument and feed into an amplifier. 

We have some Christmas "traditions" in our little family... the adult sons will get some sort of goofy toy to play with on Christmas day; we did it one year on a whim and they asked us to keep doing it.  Of course we join in!    Last year, it was potato guns.  Cheap but effective - had to have some potatoes on hand for ammo.  The year before, it was tiny remote control helicopters.  As a matter of fact, we've tried about four different kinds of little helicopters over the past few years, and the manufacturers have gotten really good at these - at first, they were awful, but now the guys fly 'em all over the house.  I'm puttering in the kitchen, and there's a insect-like lighted helicopter hovering near my face... Before that, we had the flying saucer set.   Wow, I see that one has gone up in price - we still have ours, still works, same company, but probably not the same model.  The guys had to be careful, though, since it's big enough to be an outside activity, not to lose it in the trees.  The trees here are so tall that you're probably not getting that baby back.

I'm undecided this year.  I am thinking about marshmallow guns, marshmallow crossbows (yes, I was envious of the Cub Scouts who earned these by selling popcorn.  They are awesome.), a flying toy from that company that makes such good flying saucers, and my guys all like paper airplane kits.  Any other suggestions?  Action-packed and silly, I hope?

Another Sullivan custom - since grandparents and relatives, many out of state, send the kids money to shop, and since there are such lovely after-Christmas sales on clothing, they hit the stores together.  My boys have a really good time shopping together.  They'll shop together right before the holiday and pick up gifts, then hit the sales afterwards.

My son is serious about a lovely young lady.  Gift ideas, anyone?  I know she wants another drop stitch shawl.  She's tall, and it's a generous-sized, easy-to-knit project.  I'll have to go find appropriate yarn.

Today I hope to decorate the tree, which is sitting there naked, and do some knitting.

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